Mittwoch, 12. Februar 2014

Prepared or not, here wo go

We are closing in our final couple of months as student-teachers, soon we will be actual teachers. Our current teachers somehow always manage to squeeze this reminder in, every seminar or lecture. Even though they keep reminding us about the fact, they still don’t seem to actually do anything particular to prepare us well enough. It might be my current state of mind, because of certain seminars I’m attending right now, but through various discussions with colleagues, more times than not, there seems to be an overwhelming notion that we’re still not doing close to enough that would make our life easier, as soon as we are in class.

Sometimes it feels like the closer we get to the end, the farther away we get from learning things that are practical. Most things that stand out to me right now, are things that are negative. I seem to keep hearing things like, “almost no school can actually support this” (in terms of using computer or similar) or “we can’t do anything about it, it is the law” or “your students probably won’t be able to do that”. Now the more you keep hearing about this, the less fun it gets thinking about entering this world for real, in a couple of months. For most students-teachers, there is a general feeling of just wanting to leave the institution and finally learn from the real-world.

I have written about teacher-education a couple of times, and I have always been critical, but sometimes it gets really tiring to complain about it, because there are so many things that make you uneasy. It is recommended to us from the beginning on to reflect, be it about our teacher training or just seminars - but then almost none of our own teachers reflect about their work - some would even call this hypocritical. Sometimes, I don’t understand the reason for people to do this, because I would think that if I’m educating future teachers, I would want to form the best teachers I possibly can. It can seem like lecturers and teachers just want to feel good themselves, because they did some teaching. Obviously, it is not easy with all kinds of different sets of rules and regulations that are all politically motivated, but I’m still often disappointed, about how little self-awareness or situational-awareness people seem to have.

One of the reasons this problem occurs, is because the levels of the participants are so different. Here comes the real fun part, just like I mentioned above, one of the key topics we talk about, is individualizing and differentiation in our teaching, and focusing on the specific learning needs kids have; but no ones focuses on individual student-teacher-needs. We are all treated the same way, even if you already have experience or great ideas - it doesn’t matter. My second issue with this is that most of the student-teachers are grown ups, so in some sense - they are supposed to behave and think like adults. I understand that this is not always possible, but especially in this profession, you have to grow up fast, if you are not already there, because you need a strong character. Now even if that is not the case, you are not going to help this, if you are treating those people like teenagers. They will certainly not become more thoughtful and mature with that kind of treatment.

I don’t want to go on more about this topic, because my thoughts and feelings might change throughout these final months, but one of my favorites quotations a friend told me, when discussing a similar topic, puts things in perspective for me: “Common sense is not as common (as you think)”.
The addition in the bracket is what he added to the original quotation from Voltaire, but I put it in, because it enhances it even more, and its great to think about...

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